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Does this qualify?

June 15, 2005

What could likely qualify as news of the weird are some recent happenings in Finland.

Last week Finnish Customs officials in cooperation with an open pit mine owned by Outokumpu destroyed more than 23,000 litres of illegal booze that was confiscated on the Finnish-Russian border more than a year ago.

The pit, located in Pyhäselkä in eastern Finland, is already filled with more than 3.5 million cubic metres of water. The bottles and boxes were destroyed and the alcohol was allowed to flow into the pit. Outokumpu manager Eero Soininen touted the alcohol as one way to purify the water in the pit, in other words lowering the metal content of the water.

The operation was carried out at Outokumpu’s own cost and though this may seem weird, it might not be the last time we see this kind of thing happening here.

Helsingin Sanomat International reported the story on June 10. http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/1101979859860

In other news… a weapons amnesty that has been carried over the past year in Finland has been extended. Police report that people have been turning in all sorts of war-era guns and illegal firearms. Finns are able to do this with no questions asked and without penalty. In 2004 more than 9000 weapons were handed over in the amnesty. Finnish police have also reported receiving dynamite and grenades during the amnesty. The Finnish Police have a great English language website, a marked improvement over just a few years ago: http://www.poliisi.fi/poliisi/home.nsf/pages/index_eng.

Definitely NOT weird, but wonderful is the advance of the Finnish women’s soccer team into the semi-finals of the Euro 2005 tournament. Ranked last among the qualifiers they managed to hold back powerhouses Sweden and Denmark to make it to the semi-finals. It’s a real boost for the women’s sport in Finland. Unfortunately the men have not fared so well. They were thumped 4-0 by Holland in a World Cup qualifier last week in Tampere. The Finnish women play against Germany in the semi-final. See more at the official website: http://www.uefa.com/competitions/woco/index.html

GO FINLAND GO!

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